On average, more than 200 U. S. military veterans per week have been completing a Riverside County survey designed to get their feedback on a multitude of issues ranging from education and health care and everything in between.

The county is in its third week of its first-of-its-kind Veterans Needs Survey.

“We have had outstanding participation,” said Thomas S. Freeman, chief policy adviser to Fourth District Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel “Manny” Perez. Freeman was employed as the county’s military affairs commissioner before he retired in 2015.

The survey was co-developed by Vietnam-era U. S. Army veteran Dr. Carl Anderson Johnson and Freeman. Johnson is now CEO of the Riverside-based nonprofit Community Translational Research Institute (CTRI). Established n 2014, CTRI and its partners work to bring innovative methods for the prevention and care to the community.

Riverside County Fourth District Supervisor, a longtime advocate for veterans, requested the survey to determine the needs of the county veterans population. Health care, veterans services, mental health, housing, and other topics such as wait time at county veterans offices are being tracked.

feedback

(Photo courtesy of V. Manuel Perez)

“With over 130,000 veterans residing in Riverside  County we want to know what our veterans need in the way of health care, housing, education, access to benefits, and mental health services,” Perez  said in a prepared statement. “Our veterans sacrificed much for us and we owe it to them to help when and we can.”

Veterans may access the survey, which concludes in October, here to provide feedback.

Participation is voluntary, participants may opt to remain anonymous and can skip some questions with which they might be uncomfortable.

The survey should take only about 10 minutes to complete.

Some of the questions, for  example, are:

  • During your military service, were you ever exposed to toxic chemicals to your
    knowledge (Agent Orange, burn pits, jet fuel, etc.)?
  • Have you visited your local Riverside County Veterans Service Office for
    comprehensive benefits counseling to explore the many Veterans benefits you may be
    entitled to?
  • If you travel to the VA Hospital in Loma Linda, what means of transportation do you
    use?

It seeks veterans feedback their military experience, knowledge and use of veterans’ benefits, their health and access to health services, health risks, and overall well-being. Veterans will also be asked to provide information on their general characteristics that might help target assistance to specific individuals and groups.